Vestition Ceremony for Candidates to the Diaconate and Priesthood
"PUT ON THE MANTLE OF CHRIST"
On Thursday, 28th June 2018, the eve of the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, six seminarians studying in the Third Year Theology were vested with white cassocks. The cassocks are given to seminarians who have been found worthy to be admitted as candidates to the Sacred Orders of the Diaconate and Priesthood. After a lengthy formation of six years, seminarians are admitted as candidates for ordination, in their seventh year.
The Vestition ceremony was conducted by the Rector, Fr. Aniceto Pereira, who explained to the candidates that putting on the white garment of the cassock must serve as a constant reminder of being clothed in Christ. He exhorted the seminarians to strive towards fidelity to Christ and model their leadership style after Christ, the obedient servant.
Back Row L- R: Br.Kelvin Santis, Br. Godfrey Malu, Fr. Aniceto Pereira, Bishop Bosco Penha, Br. Cedric Rosario, Br. Cliffton Mendonca
Front Row L- R: Br. Edward Selvan, Br. Joseph David, Br. Steven Coutinho
The six seminarians summarize their experience as under:
“The rite of Vestition impressed upon me that the Cassock is not just a robe or vestment but a symbol of becoming Christ. During the service I felt God’s invitation to “put on Christ,” his mind, his heart, his words and actions. The reflections during the ceremony, on Elijah passing on his mantle to Elisha, best summarize my entire experience. It is a call to make his vision my vision, to make his goals my goals, to make his problems my problems. In his act of passing on the Cassock God has deeply touched and inspired me to bring to fruition what he himself began.” - Cliffton Mendonca
“Receiving the cassock was so much more than just receiving some priestly clothing. The prayer service reminded me, how it was a step towards a significant decision which would change me at the very core of my being. Receiving the cassock was a symbol of me receiving the priesthood of Christ which is rooted in service of his Church. I praise God for having given me this grace.” - Kelvin Santis
“As we gathered for the service, I realized how blessed I was to move one more step closer towards becoming a true ambassador of Christ. When the cassock was put, I realized that it was not just a cloth but a pure sign of Christ’s love for me. I felt like an honoured soldier putting on his armour for Christ and his Church. “Many are called but few are chosen,” and I am blessed to be one of those who is found worthy by God to carry on His mission. As I journey towards the priesthood, I feel more and more closer to God with the desire to have the mind of Jesus and to imitate him in every way possible. Just as Our Lady said a resounding “Yes” to the will of God, I too would like to follow Christ and be his true disciple. As God has chosen me to carry on His mission, I pray that I do his will sincerely through selfless service. After all “What I am is God’s gift to me and what I make of myself is my gift to God.” - Godfrey Malu
“Receiving the cassock, on the eve of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul was very special. Fr. Aniceto made it more edifying by conducting for us a prayer service. Joining in prayer and being vested, we were reminded of our journey to the priesthood. The example of Prophet Elijah, was appropriate for the occasion. I thank God, and ask him to keep me faithful and loving, so that I may be worthy to serve in his vineyard.”- Joseph David
“The Vestition ceremony is a foretaste of the commissioning which will happen at ordination. It seeks to prepare the way for the ordained ministry which follows in due course. The prayer service which accompanied the ceremony of Vestition served as a reminder of the servant leadership which I am called to exercise over the community entrusted to my care. The cassock is a humble garment symbolizing the purity of Christ, yet it brings greater firmness to the identity of a seminarian. The Lord has been gracious and merciful to me and unworthy as I am, He calls me to be his faithful witness. In return, all I can ask for is His grace and love to sustain me as I journey towards the priesthood.” - Cedric Rosario
“The Vestition ceremony was a heart touching event. It helped to reflect more deeply on the importance of wearing a cassock and living a life of Purity. In spite of my infirmity Jesus Christ has qualified me and strengthened me by his grace to become his disciple after his own heart.” - Edward Selvan
Br. Keith Miranda
2nd Year Philosophy